The use of social media is growing rapidly, and the 21st century can be described as the “boom” period of social media. Most users in social networks are the “digital natives,” a group of people born or raised in the digital age and closely related to various technologies and systems, and “millennials,” those who become adults at the beginning of the 21st century.
These user groups use social media platforms for almost everything from marketing, news acquisition, teaching, healthcare, civic engagement, political engagement, and social engagement. The unethical use of social media has resulted in a violation of personal privacy and an impact on physical and information security.
The use of social media has changed the communication landscape, leading to changes in ethics and behavior. Data is one of the most valuable assets for most businesses/organizations in today’s IT-based society. Organizations and governments collect information in various ways, including intangible data collection, marketing platforms, and search engines such as Google. Information can be obtained from multiple sources, and technology can combine this information to develop a complete personal profile.
Is Your Data is Secured with Social Media Companies?
Information on social networks is very easy to obtain and may be of great value to individuals and organizations due to reasons such as marketing; therefore, most companies retain data for future use. Social networking sites can be described as online services that allow users to create “public,” “semi-public,” or both profiles. Users can create a personal profile or become part of a group of people they can get acquainted with offline.
They also provide a way to establish virtual friendships. Through these virtual friendships, people can access detailed information about their connections, from background information and personal interests to location. Social media and the information/digital age have “redefined” privacy. In today’s information technology deployment society, with constant monitoring, privacy has acquired new meanings.
Technologies such as closed-circuit video cameras (CCTV) are commonly found in public places or private places, including our workplaces and residences. Computers and personal devices (for example, global positioning systems (GPS), smartphones, geographic locations, and geographic maps connected to these devices) have become privacy as we know it, a thing of the past.
Recent reports indicate that some of the larger companies, such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook, and various government agencies, collect information without consent and store it in a database for future use. For some audiences, inappropriate information is often inadvertently viewed by other target groups and can sometimes lead to negative results in the future.
Being Social is Threat to your Privacy?
Privacy on social networking sites is highly dependent on the users of these networks because sharing information is the primary way to participate in social communities. Privacy on social media platforms has “many aspects.” Users of these platforms are responsible for protecting their information from third-party data collection and for managing their data. However, compared to anywhere else on the internet, participants are generally more willing to provide personal and private information on these platforms.
This can be attributed to most of the community, comfort, and family feeling that these media provide. Controlling privacy is not a priority for social media designers, and only a few young users can change the default privacy settings for their accounts. This opens the door to vulnerabilities, especially in the most vulnerable user groups (i.e., young children, adolescents, and the elderly).
The nature of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and other social media platforms require users to frequently reassess and change their privacy standards to keep themselves safe in these social media communities.